The Fountain of Living Water - Part I
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT (Written by Sergeant Jennifer Duelley Corps Officers of Cartersville, Georgia)
I believe our passage today to be a familiar passage to many. Thousands of sermons have been brought from this passage. Today, I would like to look at this idea of living water and discuss what it means to drink of the living water. The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is not a random meeting. It was planned by God and depicts Jesus’ mercy and love for us. Desperate for a satisfying life and unending grace, the woman at the well is forever changed by Jesus’ love for her. She uses her story to tell others about the living water found in Jesus.
One of the first things we see here is that this moment is the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. It is significant that he is declaring who He is to someone other than His disciples. Throughout the gospels, it’s rare to find Jesus declaring exactly who He is. In fact, there were multiple times the disciples tried to drag it out of Him, and yet the Samaritan woman was worth telling this incredible truth. And that he chose to tell a Samaritan woman who He is. Jesus is breaking down barriers socially, racially, and religiously. His choosing to share who He is at that moment in that setting really sets the stage for a different kind of ministry that had not been expected. The disciples are even hesitant about what He is doing. The disciples did not understand what Jesus was doing. In later chapters, it takes many miracles before the disciples even declare Jesus as Lord, the Messiah.
The Samaritan woman didn’t need long though, she knew that the change of love and grace and worship was bubbling up in her heart. She was experiencing the living water welling up inside of her to eternal life. What an incredible feeling.
Jesus is simply and truly who He is. And who He is changes lives and the world.
Jesus mentions to the Samaritan woman that He is thirsty. The expectation is that she would give Him a drink. But, she is cautious in her interactions with Him. She is curious about why He is interested in speaking to her. Why would He even choose to associate with her in this way? He wants to give something amazing to her. After traveling all day, with the sun at its peak, it’s no wonder that Jesus stopped to rest by the well. It was surprising, however, to find a woman there in the heat of the day. Usually, women would go together in groups to get water for their families and animals later in the day when it was cooler. From this, we can guess that the woman at the well was an outcast or even despised by the other women in town. Stranger than this is the fact that in the culture of Jesus’ time, men rarely, if ever, spoke to women, much less Samaritan women.
It’s evident that Samaritans and Jews do not mingle or mix. It is also evident to see from our passage that the woman was ashamed of her life and did not like the disapproval from the other women who would draw water from this well. So, she came to draw water when she could be isolated and not have to worry about gossip and back-handed conversation. How wonderful that Jesus chose her and that moment to reveal himself to her? This is the beauty of Jesus and his character. Everything we appreciate about Him but do not always imitate. We know that this living water is the salvation Jesus gives to us since He says that it’s a gift from God. The woman at the well was picking up on this, and I’m sure was wondering if there was more to Jesus, maybe even more to her life.
When we know who it is that is offering living water to us, when we know that it is the generous and kind Jesus, we will ask Him, and He will give it to us freely. We know that God comes to save the lost. We know that he cares about the sinner. The Samaritan woman, however, did not know who Jesus was yet. To gauge exactly what authority He might have and who He might be, she compares Him to Jacob, the greatest figure of faith she knew of according to the Jews.
After the comparison, Jesus cuts right to the chase, stating that even the prophets and people from the old covenant can’t fulfill or satisfy us. Jesus is hinting at the new covenant, the one where we can trust in Him and be completely satisfied, both in eternity and here on earth.
In order for her to have this living water, Jesus states the most uncomfortable thing. He is not trying to accuse or embarrass her, no, Jesus is trying to get to her heart, to the bottom of what she needs, which is love and forgiveness. Jesus revealed himself to this woman and, in doing so, changed her life. Jesus shares a very important truth with this woman. He is the source of Living Water.
Let’s explore this a moment. Living water…Is water alive?
I am going to say something that may shock you. Please try and keep your chins from falling to the floor.
Most of Us Drink Dead Water – what do I mean by this?
Almost everything that man has done to water has destroyed or degraded it. We have contaminated nearly every natural water supply on earth with pollution, toxic waste, and hundreds of thousands of chemicals.
There are over 120,000 types of chemicals in use today, with another 1,000 new ones added each year. All of these chemicals find their way into our water sources. Water treatment plants use basic filtration and chlorine to remove microbes and contaminants from our polluted water. This process makes the water “safe” because it kills most germs and bacteria, but it also destroys water’s life-giving properties. Most bottled water is tap water that has been processed through a reverse osmosis or carbon filtration system. Some companies add minerals, and in some (but not all) countries, if the label says “spring water,” it might have actually come from a natural spring…but in all of these cases, the water is still processed and artificially contained for long periods of time.
It’s All Still Dead Water!
The bottom line is that almost all filtration and purification processes start with dead tap water and then do little or nothing to restore water’s vital life-giving properties.
LIVING WATER IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
Fresh unpolluted natural water is healthy, self-cleansing, and resistant to disease-causing microbes. It is rich in minerals and oxygen. It is also harder to come by. 70% of our planet is covered with water, but 97% of it is oceanic salt water, and 2% is glacial ice. To turn it into drinking water, God has an incredible water treatment system. The sun, natural magnetic fields, rocks, and soil give water energy, oxygen, minerals, and a mysterious molecular structure made up of small hexagonal clusters. This is the natural living water that produces and sustains life.
God is our fountain of living water. As you drink from the water that He gives, you will never thirst again. We will see you next week for Part II of The Fountain of Living Water.
OUR CORPORATE PRAYER
O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down because they have forsaken the fountain of living water. We pray that as we seek Your face that we will be refreshed with Your living water every day. May we gain strength to do what You have called us to, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We pray this prayer in Christ's name, amen.
OUR WORLDWIDE PRAYER MEETING FOR MARCH 2, 2023 ~ SWEDEN AND LATVIA TERRITORY
REACHING OUT TO OTHERS
As you meet people this week, don't forget to refresh yourself with the living water of Christ, which will serve to strengthen you and give you more power to draw others to the foot of the cross.
"If you knew the generosity of God and who I am. You would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh living water." (John 4:10)
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Rick Raymer, Major
Territorial Spiritual Life Development Officer/THQ Chaplain
USA Southern Territory